May 7, 2017
The Oilers jumped out to a huge lead in game 6 against the Ducks, and this time, they wouldn’t give it back. Edmonton hammered Anaheim 7-1 in game 6 of their 2nd round playoff series, tying the series 3-3, and forcing a game 7 on Wednesday night in SoCal.
Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick along with two assists, while Mark Letestu had two goals and two assists, and the Oilers had a 5-0 lead after the first period.
Zach Kassian and Anton Slepychev also scored for the Oilers, while Cam Talbot made 34 saves in the win.
The Ducks only goal came from Rikard Rakell, which came midway through the 2nd period. It was a miserable night for the Anaheim goaltenders. John Gibson was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 6 shots, just 8:30 into the game. Jonathan Bernier didn’t fare much better, stopping 25 shots, but Letestu scored his first goal of the game when Bernier couldn’t find the puck that was sitting right in front of him in the crease.
“Stuff happens sometimes,” Gibson said. “It’s my job and obviously I wasn’t good enough tonight as i want to be. I just kind of let them down.”
Letestu 2nd of the game came on a one-timer over Bernier’s right pad for a power-play goal with 1:15 remaining in the first.
Draisaitl completed his hat trick on a give-and-go with Milan Lucic with 4:30 minutes left in the second period when Ryan Kesler was serving a roughing minor.
“You want to flush it but you gotta look at what you did wrong too. There’s a lot of mistakes that we made tonight,” Andrew Cogliano said. “Uncharacteristic mistakes and we deserve to lose that way. You don’t see other teams giving up breakaways in the first 10 minutes of a hockey game to move on to the conference finals.”
The Ducks will be looking to end a streak of futility in game 7. In the last four seasons, Anaheim has lost four consecutive game 7’s at home, ending their season. In each of those four series, the Ducks have held a 3-2 series lead. Anaheim was eliminated in the first round of 2013 by Detroit, in 2016 by Nashville, the second round in 2014 by the Kings, and the conference finals in 2015 by Chicago.
“Each year is a new year; each day is a new day,” Gibson added. “If you look at the past, you don’t get anywhere.”
Edmonton’s last Game 7 was the 2006 Stanley Cup final, which they lost 3-1 at Carolina. Edmonton is 6-3 in franchise history in game 7, and 3-2 on the road. The Ducks are 2-6 in game 7 in their franchise history, and 1-4 at home. The good news for the Ducks however is that home teams have won nearly 60% of game 7’s in the NHL.
It all goes down Wednesday night at the Honda Center. The winner will advance to the Western Conference Finals to play the Nashville Predators.